NBA executive sees Dillon Brooks as ‘great’ breakout candidate: ‘People will suddenly realize what he really is’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One NBA executive believes that Houston Rockets wing Dillon Brooks is a “great” breakout candidate in the 2023-24 season.

“Dillon Brooks is a great breakout candidate because the narrative around him got so out of control last year,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype. “As we saw in the World Cup, he’s an elite defensive player who is a good offensive player. He doesn’t have to change at all, but now that he’s a name that’s on the radar, people will suddenly realize what he really is.”

Brooks, who spent the first six seasons of his NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies, played for Canada in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, helping the team to a third-place finish. Canada beat the United States in the third-place game.

In the 2022-23 season for the Grizzlies, Brooks averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. An outspoken player, Brooks attempts to get under his opponent’s skin on the defensive end of the floor.

He joined Houston on a four-year deal this offseason, joining guard Fred VanVleet as one of the team’s big offseason acquisitions.

Brooks has shown some potential as a scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game in the 2021-22 season, but that came in just 32 games. He was more efficient from the field during that season, shooting 43.2 percent – the second-highest field-goal percentage of his NBA career.

The Rockets are a young team, but Brooks should fit in pretty well alongside Jalen Green, Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith Jr. and some of Houston’s other young players.

The executive is clearly high on Brooks’ defensive abilities, which makes sense since he registered 2.4 defensive win shares last season. Brooks finished the 2022-23 season with more defensive win shares than players like Lu Dort (2.1), Josh Hart (2.2), Aaron Gordon (2.2), Isaac Okoro (2.3) and Dejounte Murray (2.3) just to name a few.

All of those players are solid defensive players, so Brooks clearly is strong on that end of the floor.

If he can bring his efficiency from the field – and from 3 (career 34.2 percent shooter from beyond the arc) – Brooks should make a major impact for Houston this season.

Brooks certainly didn’t have the best exit from Memphis since the team let him walk, but he has support from one NBA executive to show how valuable he can be in the 2023-24 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.